Memphis kicker Riley Patterson’s 43-yard field goal attempt sailed wide right on the final play of the Birmingham Bowl on Saturday, giving Wake Forest a 37-34 win at Legion Field in Birmingham, Ala.
Just 34 seconds earlier, Wake Forest quarterback Jamie Newman rushed for his third touchdown on the day, which proved to be the winning score for the Demon Deacons.
Wake Forest (7-6) has won bowl games in three consecutive seasons for the first time. Newman, who was named the bowl’s MVP, orchestrated the game-winning drive, twice connecting with senior receiver Alex Bachman for key plays, including one near the sideline that took the ball to the Memphis 1.
That drive came after running back Patrick Taylor Jr. scored on a 9-yard run with 1:15 to play, and Memphis (8-6) appeared to have the game in hand.
Louisiana Tech 31, Hawaii 14
Bulldogs senior Jaylen Ferguson set an all-time FBS career record for sacks and Louisiana Tech scored 21 third-quarter points in the penalty-riddled Hawaii Bowl, beating the host Rainbow Warriors at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu.
Ferguson collected 2 1/2 sacks, breaking the record of Terrell Suggs (Arizona State) at the 4:25 mark of the third quarter with his 45th career sack. Ferguson finished the season with 17 1/2 sacks and recorded 26 tackles for loss.
Louisiana Tech wiped out a 7-3 halftime deficit as its offense finally got untracked after committing three turnovers. Israel Tucker’s 5-yard touchdown run with 10:27 left in the third quarter gave the Bulldogs (8-5) the lead for good at 10-7. Hawaii finished 8-6.
Army 70, Houston 14
Quarterback Kelvin Hopkins Jr. ran for 170 yards and five touchdowns as the Black Knights rolled to victory over the Cougars in the Armed Forces Bowl at Fort Worth, Texas.
Army finished the season with a nine-game winning streak and ended with an 11-2 record. Houston stumbled in the second half of the year and finished at 8-5.
Hopkins posted those 170 yards on just 11 carries in less than three quarters of work. He completed all three passes he attempted for 70 yards as the Black Knights took charge early with 28 points in the second quarter en route to a 42-7 halftime lead.
Troy 42, Buffalo 32
Sawyer Smith threw four touchdown passes as the Trojans snapped out of a late-season scoring slump to defeat the Bulls in the Dollar General Bowl at Mobile, Ala.
Troy (10-3), which had scored just 22 points in their last two games, won a bowl game for the third consecutive season and completed its third consecutive 10-win season. Smith completed 31 of 44 passes for 320 yards and threw scoring passes of 60 yards to Tray Eafford, 7 yards and 2 yards to Damion Willis and 45 yards to Sidney Davis.
Buffalo (10-4) finished the winningest season in school history without adding the school’s first bowl victory to its accomplishments. The Bulls were playing in their third bowl as they met Troy for the first time. Buffalo led 17-14 at halftime.
—Field Level Media